12/9/08

A New Twist on Serving a Mexican or Taco Dip. Build it Up!

This mornings recipe is 'inspired' by this photo I saw on a recipe from my uber-favorite 'Southern Living' emails. The photo is of their Sun Dried Tomato and Basil appetizer but that isn't a recipe that would go over well in our household. I personally don't like sun dried tomatoes and neither do my family but the photo was an inspiration because to me, when I first saw it, I thought it looked like a typical Mexican dip.

As a matter of fact my first thought was "What a great way to garnish and serve a 7 layer Mexican Dip" only to find it wasn't that at all.

So the photo serves as inspiration. Most people make and love some version of a 7 layer dip for parties because they are so good and so very, very popular. It's time to build it up a little! No more 'flat on the tray' dip. Let's take it to new heights!

Using a typical layered taco dip like this one I published last December, we are going to use a spring form pan to build the dip and then chill it at least 12 hours to help it 'set up'.

Let's start with a typical taco dip recipe. Use your own if you like... they are all similar. The idea however is that you need to make sure you use cream cheese in the revised version so it will hold its shape!


Taco Dip

1 can refried beans
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 8 oz container sour cream
1 - 8 oz. cream cheese
1 package Taco Seasoning mix
1/2 c salsa or diced tomatoes
1/3 c chopped or diced onion or green onion
1 small can sliced black olives
1 c guacamole
4 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. finely shredded cheese of your choice


Mix the refried beans and black beans together and add package of taco seasoning. Mash the black beans a bit with a wooden spoon to help blend.

Using a mixer, blend the package of cream cheese with the sour cream. Stir in the chopped green onions and salsa. Mix the guacamole with the 4 oz. cream cheese with an electric mixer.

Spray a springform pan with a cooking spray and spread a layer of the bean mixture, follow with a layer of the white sour cream mixture, then a layer of guacamole, a sprinkle of cheese and black olives and then repeat the layers again. Make them as thick or thin as you like - it's your dip!

I love the garnish on this photo! You can achieve it by using springs of rosemary if you can find them and tiny bits of red pepper.

For my family - or a large group I would double this recipe and make a nice tall dip. When it's as full or tall as you like, cover the top with plastic wrap and chill for 8-12 hours. When you are ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan and carefully remove the sides. Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips or celery sticks.
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